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Upps I did it again — share my 1st video ever #SNHUSMM

November 10, 2013

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How Online Learning Does fit into my life…

After a 2year endeavor in the US I moved back to Germany. Here you can see how I managed to travel and study at the same time. It’s not always fun but online learning enables you to study according to your own schedule.

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Future Implications | my final social media marketing class post

June 10, 2013

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Ha, I still remember the early days of Internet. I was used to go to the library when doing research for my studies and “all of a sudden” my research should enjoy great improvement by utilizing search engines finding results to what I was looking for. Oh yes, it became so convenient and today, many years later, one can not imagine how challenging it was reading tons of books to find the information needed; today you have “big data” available. But for one thing it was really good: hanging out in the reading room chatting with people face-to-face and sharing information and building relationships.

Today also in the work environment, but currently being back at school for working towards a MBA, one faces another situation. Relationship building today also means being active throughout social networks. Whether a business or a student seeking for a job one has to have a social media strategy in place to identify the people one wants to connect with, people one wants to be found by and being visible in the social media world at all.

The permanently changing environment, especially the social media world, shows certain implications on businesses but also on people like me. I am European and it is known that Europe is far behind the US and also UK in terms of social media utilization and thus lots of European companies have to understand the importance and power of social media. There is a change noticeable. A CEO nowadays consider using social media much more than, for instance, 2 years back when I moved to the US. The other day I talked to the new CEO of my company, which is European based with global reach, and I was really enthusiastic about implementing a social media strategy. Hmm, what do you think his reaction was? Still conservative approach with focus on traditional marketing but there was some light at the end of the tunnel. A twitter and Facebook account will be implemented but we have to also focus on social media compliance. In Forbes I read that in 2013 brands and business will have to monitor and engage in an expanding ecosystem of social networks. When I left the meeting I was wondering about the following: Is it the difference between Europe and the US that the CEO was not as enthusiastic as I was? Is it the human factor that comes into play? The demand for information available all the time is increasing tremendously and also the need to connect with people across the globe and also with people/businesses one likes, adores etc. shows great increase. In 2011 HBR surveyed about 2,000 companies and found that 79% use or plan to use social media. With the CEO’s agreement the European company at least takes a step in the right direction. The business may add new social technologies, institutionalize social practices and also use analytical tools to measure the real ROI on their social investment.

I also noticed the other day, that when talking to a friend about something in particular, my smartphone was on hand so quickly just to do a research. A couple of years back I would have waited until I am home to do my research. Everything has to be available now, transparent, whether connecting with someone through social media networks or just checking a website. We have become impatient, an implication of the development of Internet, social media and the availability of both everywhere at any time. For me, living far away from friends and family, social media is great as it keeps us connected. Globalization has helped people moving places and opening their view for other people/businesses across the globe. The social media landscape has noticed this and new tools and applications pop up like mushrooms to satisfy people’s increasing demand for being social not only on a face-to-face level.

I could ask what caused what and I will end up with what was first: hen or egg question but one thing is for sure: the social media changes and implications caused are based on changes of human behavior and technology development. One without the other would have not resulted in the existing social media landscape.

Savitz, E. (December 11, 2012). 5 Ways Social Media Will Change The Way You Work in 2013. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/12/11/5-ways-social-media-will-change-the-way-you-work-in-2013/

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Viral Marketing Initiatives | He makes me smile

June 2, 2013

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Do you know that, you see something funny, entertaining with great content on YouTube and you think: Oh that’s cool I wanna share this with people I know through my various social networks! Once posted I know lots of my friends will also like it and there is a high chance that they will share this link as well. All of a sudden it creates a domino or snowball effect – in the social media world it is called “go viral”. For businesses this type of marketing is great to spread a message, not in the typical way to push a message with a product or service promote, no, it’s rather telling a story that engages people.

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But what is it that make campaigns and stories go viral? The easiness of distribution – as I said most people share by using social networks to serve as the distribution channel – widgets, RSS feed or the famous comment section foster the easiness of distribution; a good message – make people think about the object of a campaign rather than having the product displayed all the time. I, especially, liked the T-Mobile viral campaigns. Funny to watch the people doing karaoke at Trafalgar Square – not that I am a big fan of T-Mobile but I thought for a European company this is a great initiative and video. Having singer Pink for the celeb factor is another bonus that incorporates with the company’s image: pink.

But of course like planting flowers and vegetables, it all starts with a seed and you hope that it will mature and grow – same applies for a viral campaign, you need the people interested in sharing what you have provided. I think we all agree that any message create has to be genuine, same I do here – I try to connect with you, dear reader in the way I write about this topic. So what do you think? By raising this question I am asking for some action, I want you to comment (and I hope you will do so).

A video that has spread like a virus was last year’s marriage proposal by Isaac Lamb. I didn’t know that he’s an actor residing in Portland, OR, but when I saw the video (of course through a link at one of my Facebook friend’s timeline) I thought: that’s a great proposal and the whole set up was very professionally arranged. While I think a proposal should be something private in this case I am really glad that this video was uploaded and shared among lots of people. I wouldn’t say it was Isaac’s attempt to become famous rather than creating a unique way to ask his loved one to marry him. Bruno Mars, the singer of the “will you marry me” surely got some additional boost through this video but he may also have regretted that it was not his idea. However, two-camera positioning, cheering, singing and dancing family members and friends and a smiling Isaac at the end made this video very unique with a great message and definitely worth going viral. I wonder whether requests for unique and special marriage proposals have increased since then. If not Isaac at least the wedding industry has benefited from it.

In general, this is also my attempt to use widgets (social widgets such as Facebook, Twitter) and plugins to enable sharing. So far I haven’t added a video to my blog – may be I should start doing so – by not taking oneself too seriously.

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Differentiation: a social media course related topic | #SNHUMK655

April 12, 2013

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DSC04483Most of my posts became travel focused: place we went to and the experience I want to share with family & friends and other interested in the adventures of a German woman living abroad. Back in Germany the U.S. was always known for fitness, people in perfect shape hanging out at the California beaches. I have never been a sporty person but since I moved here I started to go to the gym on a regular basis and at some point it became a routine. Living in a big city one has a big choice of places to choose from but when one lives in the countryside one has limited choice.

This post is also a “thanks for chasing me all the time to give my best” to my personal trainer Traci but also for the fact that I can do it.

Anyway, in this context I’d like to compare the global fitness company  “Golds Gym” and the  gym “Performance Health and Fitness” located in the Monadnock area.

Once you go to the gym you either love it or hate it – depending on the people surrounding you. But also the location and especially the instructors are key drivers why one goes there.

But the question is what are a fitness company’s strategic goals? Of course increasing number of members and also having the latest and greatest equipment and motivating instructors onboard. But what tactics do both gyms use to achieve their strategic goals? In a small town, mouth-to-mouth advertising is the most important which applies for big city gyms likewise but the city hosts more competition. So what else? A proper website which provides information about the facility. Promotions shown on the website are also tactics to raise interest and to get closer to the goal. However, this is a one-way communication and therefore both Gold’s Gym and Performance Health and Fitness use social media. In a way it is unfair as the comparison is between a global company and a local company – David vs. Goliath – but still it is all about customer engagement and to connect with them also outside the gym.

Performance Health and Fitness only maintains a Facebook account and while at the facility people get easily connected the Facebook posts are a mix of general comments on health and fitness combined with news from the gym. One does not really feel connected, which I think is a pity. It’s a great location, great people and with more emphasis in taking advantage of social media the gym could easily get more attention and people would feel more engaged.

Gold’s Gym in contrast, is by far bigger and also has a more professional approach in terms of traditional marketing combined with social media activities.

Both, Gold’s Gym as a company or single locations, maintain a Facebook page. UntitledThe content varies but, for instance the local Facebook page, provides promotions, updates about courses which customers respond to.

The tactics used on a holistic but also local level foster the same output: increase the number of members and make people feel they have made the right choice. In order to get familiar with the company Gold’s Gym also has a YouTube presence, GoldsGymChannel, as well as videos of people sharing their success story. Sharing people’s (success) stories is always an opportunity to increase customer base. You can tell me the opposite, but who’s not dreaming of the perfect body?

In addition they also have a Google+ account, which I like as the appearance of the Google+ platform is not as overloaded as Facebook. Untitled

 Gold’s Gym uses best practices by having an aligned communication theme and again if one is neither on Facebook or YouTube this is another channel the company uses to reach out to customers. Finally Gold’s Gym is also utilizing Twitter. Untitled

Like on their other social media channels it is a mix of health & fitness but also tweets by customers providing information how motivated they are or what they like about Gold’s Gym.

It is clear that the bigger the company the overall marketing approach is different but no matter the budget available in the fitness industry it is all about motivation, transformation, healthy lifestyle and exercise. While the local gym shows efforts by incorporating all elements it doesn’t seem that they have a proper strategy in place to reach their goals. In contrast Gold’s Gym is doing great effort to use social media to get connected with customers also outside the gym. One can see, the more people provide positive feedback on Gold’s Gyms performance the more people want to connect to the company in order to get closer to one’s personal goals: become lean, toned and healthy.

Reference:

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Retrieved from http://www.perfhealth.com/

Performance Health and Fitness (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Performance-Health-and-Fitness/146318762750?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym (2013). Retrieved from http://www.goldsgym.com/

Gold’s Gym (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/goldsgym?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym West Covina (2013). Facebook. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://www.facebook.com/goldsgymwestcovina?ref=ts&fref=ts

Gold’s Gym (2013). Twitter. Retrieved  on April 10, 2013 from https://twitter.com/goldsgym

Gold’s Gym (2013). Google+. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from https://plus.google.com/u/0/105914446067460306811/posts

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Hello??? Anybody out there… Recap of a one-year blogging experience | #SNHUMK555

March 3, 2013

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DSC06949 The idea to have my own blog came up before we took off to our adventure – the move of all our belongings from Germany to the U.S. to experience a new way of living. My overall idea of this blog was to share a “diary” with people who either know me, such as friends and family, or those who find their way to my blog based on subject title, tags or any other keyword they are looking for their search in the Internet. Yeahhh, most people will think at this moment where something caught their attention and in the same moment we click the link to be directed to the site. Ok, from experience I know that first impression is the most lasting and that means a great subject title and tags will help me to “catch the fish”.

But what next? DSC06950What do I have to do to make people connected and addicted to my blog? Being interested in Art and Design the answer is easy: I need a blog that’s appealing, a design that suits me and I can identify with and people who see it will be able to get an idea who I am. Being me in the way I write my posts and share photos I take people can identify with. Voila and yet another person who (hopefully) wants to hear about my adventures. Sometimes I am like: Oh man it’s hard to begin, feels like a bumpy road I drive on but after a while it becomes like “go with the flow”. The goal is not to write a novel in terms of length but it’s important to write as much as necessary to make it a whole story.

So when I wrote my first blog ever, I was so nervous and excited at the same time as I thought: yes, the design of the blog – This is you! Looking back and also reading my first post I have to laugh…meaningful content to share…well, the first blog was not much content but the beginning of my “blog love story”. Writing a bilingual blog is challenging as sometimes it’s easier to write in one language than the other but like in sports consistency is soooo important to see results*. If you have nothing to say then leave it but also speaking for myself, once registered as follower of a blog I like, I am seeking for new posts desperately. Being a blogger this applies in the same way only the other way around.

DSC06951“Feed your audience” with content they like. Sharing life in a new country, far away from home and also to enjoy and show cultural differences this is what my “industry” is about. One could also see it as my personal travel book, no need to buy LonelyPlanet, Marco Polo or any other mainstream travel guide anymore…

Comments and feedback is always welcome. It’s not like a press release or a magazine where communication is only one-sided. When people provide feedback then it’s the proof that the content wasn’t too boring to leave the site immediately.

Instead, once I shared a picture of a cake I really LOVE!!! And promptly I was asked whether I can provide the receipt for this yummy cake – of course I can. If you don’t share and don’t engage with your readers than you shouldn’t have a blog…

No matter if private or corporate blog the before mentioned “tips” for blogging remain the same. Compared to my blog corporate businesses have to do more coordination behind the scene – coordination of bloggers, CI conformity, communication rules to follow and a clear understanding who’s the targeted audience and how they want to talk to. Linked via other social media channels one can reach a huge audience – with the right content one gets closer to become visible to the targeted audience.

When your reader feels that you do what you like then it’s going to be a good blog.

*Note: for Social Media Marketing tag it’s only in English due to requirements

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Source:

White, K. (n.d.). Corporate Blogging: 7 best practices. Retrieved on March 3, 2013 from http://www.businessknowhow.com/internet/corporate-blog.htm

Dawson, B. (June 8, 2012). Our Top 10 Best Practices for Blogging. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/blogging/our-top-10-best-practices-for-blogging-0188888

Klau, R. (n.d.). Blogging Best Practices. Retrieved on March 3, 2013 from http://www.howto.gov/sites/default/files/best-practices-for-blogging-slides.pdf

Urquarth, S. (February 27, 2013). Best Practices of Blogging. Retrieved from http://www.altitudesummit.com/blog/2013/2/27/best-practices-of-blogging.html

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